Joplin, Mo. — Behind strong finishes in cross country and indoor track and field, the Missouri Southern men’s track and field program is ranked seventh in the second update of the United States Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association Program of the Year standings. 

The Lions finished 17th at the Cross Country Championships and 16th at this past weekend’s Indoor Championships.

The USTFCCCA Program of the Year Award is bestowed annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs in each of the NCAA’s three divisions and for each gender. The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NCAA Championships.

In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NCAA Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.

The final standings will be released at the conclusion of the outdoor season. The Lions finished third in last year’s standings, the highest-ever finish for the program.